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'EastEnders' extra Ina Clare dies, aged 77

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Albert Square sign

© BBC Pictures

Long-standing EastEnders supporting artist Ina Clare has died at the age of 77.

The Walford extra, who played flower stall vendor Ina Foot on the BBC soap, was taken ill on Thursday before passing away at the weekend.

Clare made a number of appearances in the role of flame-haired Ina over the years, and a notable moment for the character came just a few months ago when her workmate Jean Slater (Gillian Wright) organised a birthday party for her at the Queen Vic.

Paying tribute to the actress, EastEnders executive producer Bryan Kirkwood commented: "Ina was a much-loved and highly valued part of the EastEnders community who will be very much missed in Albert Square. Many viewers will recognise Ina as one of the most long-standing characters on the market, where she's been helping to create the magic of Walford for 24 years."

Clare has also been praised by a number of her former colleagues on Twitter over the past 24 hours.

Writing on the social networking site, ex-cast member Robert Kazinsky (Sean Slater) described Clare as an "on-set legend" and noted that she would be "sadly missed".

Meanwhile, Sam Attwater (Leon Small) said: "R.I.P. Ina Clare, long-term supporting artist on EastEnders! Great woman to work with."

As well as her Walford role, Clare made small appearances in French and Saunders, Blake's 7 and sitcom In Sickness and in Health during her acting career.

An EastEnders spokesperson has told DS that tonight's episode of the soap will be dedicated to Clare with a screen tribute acknowledging her death. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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